Planes: Fire and Rescue – the latest spin-of from the Cars franchise was as Disney a movie as you get – really good for family and kids, with enough puns and quips to keep the adults entertained as well.
The movie features a very heavy theme on ‘second-careers’ – a message that will resonante well with those considering a mid-career change or those who are forced to change careers due to injury – a very nice and wholesome message.
The feature generally carries on along the trend – predictable but fun and entertaining. Then, something happened that got the fan-boy in me jumping up and down on the inside – Howard the Truck! Yet another (parody in this instance) Howard the Duck cameo.
Howard WHO? Born on Duckworld, an alternate Earth, Howard was trapped in our version of Earth. Howard first appeared in Marvel Comics and was the first (from Marvel) to get his own titular movie in 1986 by Lucasfilm – which was considered a box-office flop but gained cult-classic status.
Back in the day, Disney took up a lawsuit against Marvel for copyright infringement due to his similarities to Donald Duck. Fast forward to 2014 and both Lucasfilm and Marvel belong to Disney – paving the way for Howard to make his return.
In this short period, he’s already been mentioned in ‘Phineas and Ferb‘ and appeared in the animated ‘Ultimate Spider-Man‘ and ‘Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H‘ and finally, his cameo in the Guardians of the Galaxy though already has him movie-ready.
The latest parody in Planes: Fire and Rescue seems like an effort to keep him in our minds – which is quite interesting. Howard, has never really been a ‘kid-friendly’ character. The gun-toting, cigar-chewing, skirt chasing fowl anthromorph always been associated with darker themes catered towards a more ‘adult’ audience – hell, he even had his own MAX Comics line that specializes in R-rated comic book content.